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Thinking about starting your own Uber gig? You’re probably wondering how much Uber drivers make in NYC these days. There’s no simple answer to this question—an NYC Uber driver’s salary is based on many external factors, such as how many rides they pick up, the hours worked, and how many days per week they work.
Driving for Uber can be a great full-time job or a side hustle to raise extra cash. Read on to learn more about your salary potential and how expenses can impact your bottom line.
How much do Uber drivers make in NYC?
While NYC Uber drivers can make as much as $80,000 per year, a lot of that money is lost to cost deductions. Generally, an Uber driver who makes $80,000 gross will actually net around $45,000 after costs. Because Uber is still raking in the cash, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has eased, most drivers are confident their salaries will continue to increase.
According to Inshur, the average NYC Uber driver makes $25.91 per ride. If they can give two rides per hour, they’ll make about $52 per hour. Working 30 hours each week (assuming they’re during typically profitable hours) will eventually bring in about $80,000, before taxes and costs.
While $45,000 net is a pretty good salary after costs, not every driver can make that much. Depending on how often you work and other external factors, the typical full-time net income range is anywhere from $37,000 to $54,000.
Once you’ve established yourself as an Uber driver, you can optimize your work to maximize your income. Referral and ride bonuses are one way to ensure your income keeps flowing. Working during the busiest hours is another excellent way to keep your salary up.
What affects an Uber driver’s NYC salary?
These factors will make a difference in how much money you earn with Uber.
Commissions and fees
Uber takes 20% of your income in commissions and fees, which is a large chunk of each ride. That’s part of why you might earn close to $80,000, but only take home a little over half of your earnings.
Uber’s standard fares are based on how long a ride takes and a rate per mile driven. These prices are non-negotiable for the driver and passengers. However, the passenger’s fare can vary dramatically, especially if you’re driving during off-peak hours.
Some times of day are busier than others. Uber addresses increased demand with surge pricing, which can double or even triple the amount you take home. It’s wise to schedule your hours around major events, like concerts and conferences, as well as rush hour and other traditionally busy times. The more surge pricing you can manage, the more your income will rise.
Uber used to offer big sign-up bonuses for new drivers—depending on the terms and conditions, you could earn up to $500 extra. This halted during COVID-19, since significantly fewer people were using rideshare services. However, as the world returns to its pre-pandemic travel habits, the company may decide to offer sign-up bonuses once more.
Uber also offers occasional promotions for drivers. For example, they might add a bonus if you complete 25 rides within a set period of time. This can bolster your income, especially living in a busy city, surrounded by airports, like New York. Once you earn your bonus, you’re free to continue offering rides—or enjoy some extra time off.
Finally, you may be able to earn extra cash if you successfully refer other drivers to Uber.
Uber offers an hourly guarantee to ensure drivers make enough money. You may qualify for an hourly guarantee if you accept at least 90 percent of the rides you’re offered, and meet their standard for average number of trips per hour. However, it’s important to remember that the hourly guarantee is before Uber takes their 20 percent cut.
Great Uber drivers are more likely to earn higher tips. That’s why many drivers go the extra mile. They might provide complimentary bottles of water or other small “bonuses” that make the customer happy and comfortable. While tips aren’t as reliable or predictable as the fare itself, and a conservative approach to budgeting would involve treating them as unplanned income, they can really add up over time.
If you sign up to work for Uber Eats, you can add to your salary. Drivers who solely rely on Uber Eats for income make anywhere from $16,000 to $88,000. As you can see, this can vary, depending on where you’re located and how often you deliver meals. NYC is a prime location for both Uber and Uber Eats drivers, given the high population density, number of restaurants, and willingness to order delivery.
However, NYC Uber Eats drivers make less than the national average—about $40,000. NYC drivers should consider working for Uber Eats as a supplement to their rideshare income.
Expenses that impact how much you really make
The more you drive, the more vehicle-related expenses you’ll incur. For example, the higher the cost of gas, the less you’ll take home from each ride. You’re also likely to need vehicle maintenance on a more frequent basis than if you were simply driving back and forth to work. Depending on what kind of maintenance and repairs are needed, that also takes a significant chunk out of your earnings.
Finally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of your license and insurance, as well as incidental expenses like car washes and detailing.
The type of vehicle you use to drive for Uber can have a big impact on how much you earn. For instance, an electric vehicle may be cheaper to operate, especially as gas prices continue to rise.
How to get started as an Uber driver
Could driving for Uber be right for you? Now that you know how much Uber and Uber Eats drivers make in NYC, you can sign up to join the team. Here’s how to get started:
- Meet employment requirements: Uber asks that drivers be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, pass their mandatory background check, and have a clean driving record that meets their insurance policy standards.
- Have the right equipment: You’ll need a post-2005 vehicle in good condition, and a smartphone. If you don’t have an appropriate vehicle, Uber offers programs to help drivers get one.
- Meet state licensing requirements: The Taxi and Limousine Commission in New York requires anyone driving a “for-hire vehicle” to take their 24-hour education course. If you pass the course, you are entitled to drive for Uber and other taxi services.
- Open a business bank account: Finally, make sure you open a business bank account. Keeping your business and personal finances separate ensures you’ll know exactly how much you’re earning. It will also make tax time much easier.
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